CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When there’s an emergency, service, or utility vehicle parked along the highway, what do you do? Or do you just ignore it and keep on driving in the lane next to it?
Well, Texas' Move Over or Slow Down law says you must move over to the lane next to it or slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit. It’s been a law since 2003 and covered police, fire, and EMS vehicles, but in 2019 that extended to utility vehicles like tow trucks.
On Friday, the Bishop Police Department put on Operation Move Over, partnering with Apollo Towing to test if people would actually follow the law. In just the first hour they spotted at least 50 vehicles that did not follow the law.
Anthony Zamora was one of the officers on duty and issued warnings. He said he has been hit by a moving vehicle when doing a traffic stop and that vehicle did not stop when his car got hit.
He said today was a good opportunity for people to learn about the rules of the road.
“People sometimes forget so that’s why we want to reiterate, pay attention,” he said.
The Bishop Police Department did 46 traffic stops and issued 47 citations. They impounded one car because the driver did not have his license, proof of insurance, or registration.
“It is officer’s lives you know out there on the side of the road while they’re doing their job that are at risk and we want to see everybody go home at the end of the day safely,” Edward Day, the Bishop Police Department’s police chief said.
Michael Staff, the Vice President of Apollo Towing, said tow truck drivers and trucks get hit often and that a driver in the Kingsville area got hit recently.
“You’ve got that uneasy feeling that is, is that next car paying attention? Are they going to strike me in the back of the ankle? Are they going to strike me on the side of this roadway and they’re going to hurt me and send me to the hospital or gosh forbid send me to the morgue and I don’t get to see my family anymore,” Staff said.
The Bishop Police Department said they are hoping to do an educational experience again in the near future, but like on Friday, will not announce it ahead of time.